April 18, 2007 | , | 3.5

Chimaira, Resurrection

There are parts of me that really wanted to like this release more than I did. With the recent split from Roadrunner Records and internal strife, the album’s title really says it all. And you can’t help but want to root for the band. But despite all their hard work and intentions with their latest release, the impact of that title falls short of it’s goal.

Throughout Resurrection instances of brilliance are scattered about sporadically. Honestly, when I first heard the beginning of the title track, I was ready to go out and beat the living hell out of everything that got in my way, but as with a good portion of the music on this disc, it falters and ends up letting the listener down to a degree. Resurrection is a well written and well produced album, but I believe the experimentation the band has done with more melody and ambiance is to blame for my not fully enjoying this album.

The album’s title track starts off strong and violent. The band are definitely attempting to set the stage for their resurrection and almost accomplish that feat. The vocals are tight, the guitars are crushing and the drums haven’t sounded better, but then the 2:50 mark hits and any momentum or influence the band had on my impressionable brain died. Instantly. The chugging mosh is nice, but the subdued main vocals just destroys this song.

Pleasure In Pain
Track two fades nicely from the end of the opener, straight into a decent metalcore riff. The layered vocals on this one are a great touch and help give this song a bit of uniqueness. Again, this song could have been more impressive without the cleanly sung portions within chorus. It’s catchy though.

The band and production crew have done a really nice job seamlessly merging one track to another. Some intense drums and lighter sounding riffs start this one off. This one is sure to be a classic live song. I can see the chorus involving plenty of crowd shouts to accompany the band. So far it’s the best song on the album with the most impressive solo as well.

Nine minutes and 44 seconds. That’s how long this epic is. Unfortunately, the band sounds like they are trying too hard. This is where we get a heavy dose of samples and ambiance. Mark Hunter’s softly spoken delivery at the beginning is appropriate for the music, but man, what a momentum killer. This one would have been better off as the final track on the album. On a bright side, the band also incorporates some really great thrash portions though out the song, but it’s not enough to overcome the rest of this lengthy song.

No Reason To Live
The fifth track starts off slowly with a bit more ambiance, sound effects and light guitar work before a few rapid fire attacks from the drums kick in. This is a pretty decent song. I’m digging it.

Killing The Beast
After the ambient fade out of “No Reason To Live,” the band are back with some grimy, slow chugging riffs. Overall the track is sort of grungy with lots of layers and dynamic effects.

The Flame
Oh, broken glass. Sound effects are great. In all seriousness, the beginning to this one sounds much like Obsolete era Fear Factory. A vocalizer is used a bit toward the end giving the track an interesting sound.

End It All
The eerie, Slayer like guitar at the end of “The Flame” fades into a nice bit of thrash to start off this track. Unfortunately it also fades quickly into a Phil Anselmo like vocal delivery as heard in Far Beyond Driven‘s “Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills.” Thankfully, the band picks it up quickly and gets back into a metalcore groove. The layered vocals on this one are impressive.

Black Heart
I love the drumming and riff at the onset of this song. It builds nicely into a more melodic base. This song pushes the listener along as a nice speed with a great delivery from all parties in the band. This is probably my favorite track on the album.

After a few seconds of light noise to end “Black Heart,” the band opens up with some galloping riffs (the heaviest of the album) and get right down to it. The band is wrapping up this release well with the last 2 tracks being a couple of strongest on the album.

A theatrical beginning to the final track sets a dark and foreboding scene. Andols Herrick is super quick on the double bass in this one. “Empire” has a decent groove to it, pushing the album to it’s conclusion.

~ ~ ~

I appreciate what the band has done with this record. It’s a much more mature and polished sounding effort with the band stretching their creative wings. For that alone can I really get behind this album. While I may not be a fan of some of the new elements of their sound, it’s no reason not to pick this one up and keep it in steady rotation. It’s got plenty of variety (ranging from black metal to full on thrash) with an industrial sludge covering the whole thing.

Favorite Tracks:
The Flame
Black Heart

Additional Notes: